Leif Newry Fitzroy Crozier

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Leif Newry Fitzroy Crozier
LNF Crozier.jpg
L.N.F. Crozier c. 1880
Born June 11, 1846
Newry Ireland
Died February 25, 1901(1901-02-25) (aged 54)
Cushing, Oklahoma Territory
Buried at Belleville, Ontario
Allegiance Canada
Service/branch North-West Mounted Police
Rank Assistant Commissioner
Battles/wars North-West Rebellion
Other work merchant and banker

Leif Newry Fitzroy Crozier (11 June 1846 – 25 February 1901), commonly known as L.N.F. Crozier, was a Canadian militia officer and a superintendent of the North-West Mounted Police, now best remembered for his role in the North-West Rebellion of 1885, a resistance movement headed by Métis leader Louis Riel in what is now the modern province of Saskatchewan.

Early life[edit]

Crozier was born in June 1846 in Ireland. After immigrating to Canada, he entered Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario.[1]

Career[edit]

He served as a major in the military. He joined the NWMP in 1872. He was appointed an inspector of the NWMP in 1873. He saw first hand the hardships faced by the Native people as the buffalo disappeared. By 1884, he was the Superintendent of the North-West Mounted Police stationed in Fort Carlton. He warned Lieutenant-Governor Edgar Dewdney that government policies were creating unrest among the First Nations and Métis. Since he feared a repetition of the Red River Rebellion, he asked for reinforcements to be sent to the North-West.

Battle of Duck Lake

Wanting to avoid conflict, he attempted to negotiate with Louis Riel but was unsuccessful leaving the situation in a stalemate. [2] On March 26, 1885, Crozier lead a group of approximately 100 mounted police and Prince Albert Volunteers from Fort Carlton and a seven-pounder gun to bring back provisions which were running low at Fort Carlton. These men were confronted by Gabriel Dumont and a superior force of Métis near Duck Lake, Saskatchewan; no shots were fired and the police returned to Fort Carlton. In the ensuing Battle of Duck Lake, the NWMP were routed by the Métis. The resistance that he had wanted to avoid earlier broke out.[3] The retreat of the government under heavy fire tarnished the reputation of the NWMP. Crozier's role in the remainder of the rebellion was minimal, and his force largely remained at its post in Battleford, Saskatchewan. His march on Duck Lake and into an ambush stalled his career with the NWMP. Nevertheless, he was on April 1 promoted to assistant commissioner of the NWMP, a post which he held until his retirement in 1886. In 1886, after the Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, appointed a civilian commissioner instead of himself, he resigned. He spent his later years in as a merchant and banker in Oklahoma Territory, dying of a heart attack in Cushing, Oklahoma Territory on 25 February 1901. His body was brought back to Belleville, Ontario, to be buried.

See also[edit]

Saskatchewan Herald, Articles on the Frog Lake Massacre, Article Carlton

References[edit]

Books[edit]

  • 4237 Dr. Adrian Preston & Peter Dennis (Edited) "Swords and Covenants" Rowman And Littlefield, London. Croom Helm. 1976.
  • H16511 Dr. Richard Arthur Preston "To Serve Canada: A History of the Royal Military College of Canada" 1997 Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1969.
  • H1877 R. Guy C. Smith (editor) "As You Were! Ex-Cadets Remember". In 2 Volumes. Volume I: 1876–1918. Volume II: 1919–1984. RMC. Kingston, Ontario. The R.M.C. Club of Canada. 1984